TPO Roofing: The Complete Guide
Considering TPO roofing for your commercial building? This guide explains what it is, why many owners choose it and how you can get it.
TPO roofing is a cost-effective, rubber roofing material used commonly on commercial buildings in Texas. Because it’s versatile and durable, this roof membrane is one of the fastest-growing commercial roofing systems. This guide explains what TPO roofing is, how much it costs, and how you can get it.
The Basics on TPO Roofing
If you’ve seen a commercial building with a bright, white roof, you were probably looking at TPO. Made from thermoplastic polyolefin, which is mostly recycled rubber, this type of roof rolls on and features sections that are melted together to prevent water incursion. About 40 percent of commercial roofs are made with TPO because it’s:
- Naturally reflective to repel heat
- Resistant to the sun’s ultraviolet light
- Able to meet the EPA’s ENERGY STAR® requirements
- Highly resistant to punctures, tears and water damage
- Resistant to bacterial growth and dirt build-up
- Cost-effective, particularly on large buildings and when compared to other materials (such as PVC)
- Very low maintenance
- Lightweight and can be applied even on older roofs
A sheet of TPO is made from three layers: a TPO polymer base, scrim (a polyester-reinforced fabric), and thermoplastic polyolefin compounded upper ply. The materials come in single-layer sheets that are rolled onto the roof, which makes installation easy.
TPO roofing works best on flat roofs and those with very low pitch, such as those you find on many commercial buildings.
What Are the Advantages of a TPO Roof?
There are several advantages to installing a TPO roof, but one of the biggest reasons people choose this material is its cost-effectiveness. It costs less than many other commercial roofing materials while providing all the same benefits (and in some cases, more benefits). The following sections explain a few of the major benefits of this type of commercial roofing material.
TPO is Reflective
Generally, TPO roofing materials are white or light-colored. Because of the nature of the material, these roofs reflect the sun’s light while standing up to UV radiation. As the roof reflects light, it also resists absorbing heat. That means the building beneath a TPO roof stays cooler – even on the most sweltering Texas days.
TPO Roofing is Durable
Made largely from recycled rubber, TPO roofing is very durable. It can withstand hail, high winds (the seams are melted together so they won’t lift), the sun and other inclement weather. Even better, it’s strong enough to resist punctures and tears, even when hit with debris during a windy storm.
TPO is Energy Efficient
Because TPO roofing reflects sunlight and repels heat, it’s an energy efficient roofing option. In fact, most TPO roofing meets or exceeds federal ENERGY STAR® guidelines. Even better, these roofing materials are made from recyclable materials, which means that they create a lower environmental impact than many other roofing materials do.
TPO Roofing is Affordable
When compared to other roofing materials, TPO is among the most affordable. And it’s cost-effective, too, because the materials generally provide superior protection for up to 30 years. Many TPO roofing materials come with 25-year warranties, as well.
Common Questions About TPO Roofing Materials
If you’re considering installing a TPO roof on your commercial building, check out these common questions about the materials, benefits and costs. You can also call us or get in touch with us online to talk about your options with a Dallas – Fort Worth roofing expert.
Is TPO, EPDM or PVC Better?
Many people believe that TPO roofing materials combine the best qualities of EPDM and PVC roofs. That’s because TPO roofs have all the same advantages that EPDM roofs have, and they feature the same heat-welded seams that PVC roofs have. When you consider that TPO is cheaper (cost-wise, not quality-wise) than the other two types of roofing materials, it may be the best choice for your commercial building.
How Long Does a TPO Roof Last?
A TPO roof can last as long as 30 years. Many manufacturers include 25-year warranties with their products, as well, which gives many commercial building owners significant peace of mind while choosing a roofing type.
Is TPO Roofing Expensive?
TPO isn’t expensive when compared with other commercial roofing options. However, regardless of the material you choose, your cost will vary depending on several factors, including:
- The size of your commercial building’s roof
- How much material you need for the job
- Labor costs
The best way to find out how much a TPO roof will cost your business is to call a roofing expert for a quote. You can also get quotes on other types of roofing materials at the same time so you can make the right choice.
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Can You Install TPO Over an Existing Roof?
It is possible to install TPO over an existing roof. However, your roofer will have to check all the existing insulation and decking to make sure it’s in good shape. After that’s done – and if your existing insulation and decking is free from water damage or other problems – your roofer can install an insulation board over your roof and install a TPO system.
How is TPO Roofing Installed?
TPO roofing is cut into very large sheets. Those sheets are rolled and delivered, and to apply them, expert roofers unroll them over layers of carefully placed insulation. The sheets can be cut to match the size of a roof, or roofers may need to use several rolls to cover a large roof. Each sheet can be fully adhered, mechanically attached or ballasted in place. The roofers then use an automatic heat welding machine and a heat fastening plate to “glue” the seams together and attach flashing that helps create a barrier against water. The end result is a seamless roof that protects your commercial building from leaks and water damage, pest incursion and other issues.
How Often Should You Inspect and Clean a TPO Roof?
TPO roofs are among the lowest-maintenance roofing materials available for commercial buildings. You should have your roof inspected every year to look for punctures, tears and other problems, because as with any other type of roofing materials, the sooner you discover and fix issues, the less potential damage they can cause.
These roofs are very low-maintenance. They resist dirt and grime, and they’re not algae- or mold-friendly, either. You can spot-clean a TPO roof with a combination of mild household detergent and water if it becomes necessary. You can pressure wash a TPO roof that’s in good condition, but only if you use the lowest setting.
Can You Coat a TPO Roof?
Some people choose to coat TPO roofs as they age. There are silicone and acrylic coating systems that may work. If this is something you’re considering, you should call a roofing expert to learn more about the process, how coating could protect your roof and extend its lifespan, and how much it will cost.
Do You Need to Talk to an Expert About TPO Roofing?
If you’re thinking about installing a TPO roof to your commercial building, whether it’s a brand-new building or you’re replacing an existing roof, we’re here to help. Call our office to ask questions and get a free estimate today.
Do You Need to Talk to a Contractor About TPO Roofing?
If you’re considering TPO roofing, we may be able to help you. Call our office or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation with an TPO roofing expert; we’ll let you know what materials are available to you, how long the project will take, and how much it’ll cost.